Up A Creek – Part 1

Posted: February 27, 2016 in Book I Terror in Texas

Brian steered the truck through a maze of vehicles abandoned along the roadway. Billy pulled out a map, studied the multi-colored lines and plotted a route to a west bound state road.

“Next right.” Billy directed. “Then down two lights, we should hit an industrial area with a lot less traffic and fewer chances of infected people.”

“Where are we going?” Paula asked.

“To the Air Force Base.” Brian announced. “I’ve heard aircraft coming from that direction, I think they’re evacuating from the base. I want to get us there before the place is overrun or closed down.”

“What about my family?” She fired back.

“What about them?” Brian glanced at her. “I’m not running a bus service. My only goal is to get the hell outta the city. You got a better idea, let’s have it.” When she didn’t answer, he continued. “If any of you want to go off on your own, we’ll help you find a vehicle and you can head out.”

Paula looked at Billy and he answered. “Don’t look at me. The man saved my life. My family is out of state and I’m stickin’ with him.”

Paula folder her arms across her chest and adopted a stubborn pout.

“You saw what we saw Paula, don’t be stupid.” Billy interrupted. “You wouldn’t last an hour on your own.”

Brian sighed. “Where was your family? Here in town?”

“No. Houston.” Paula answered.

“They evacuated Houston two days after the attack. All we can do is get to safety and then try to contact the Red Cross. They’ll be setting up some kind of a registration system.” Brian answered. “Your family would want you to be safe. In the meantime, we stay safe and pray our families are as well.”

Paula raised her chin and answered softly. “I guess you’re probably right.”

“Hang on back there!” Brian called out as he slowed the truck to maneuver around yet another accident. Dozens of infected spilled from the store fronts mid-block.

Juan slapped his hand on the roof of the cab. “Got company coming, man!”

“Got it. Hang on back there. Don’t let anything get close.” Brian answered.

“We’ll manage. Just keep moving and get us to the air field.” Leon added.

Brian steered the truck to the edge of the street and rolled over multiple torn and battered bodies of the infected. The brush guard hit flesh and they fell under the massive wheels. The truck rolled down the hill, over a curb into a yard then back into the street again.

More and more of the infected were drawn to the sound of the motor revving. A few of the infected tried to reach over the edge of the bed but the moving vehicles slipped from their grasp. Others stumbled into the side of the truck, only to fall under the huge wheels. Brian steered the truck past the last of the vehicles that blocked the access to the main road heading toward the Kelly Field.

Slowly Brian brought the truck to a stop at the top a hill overlooking the bas. They studied Lackland Airforce Base and Kelly Field in the distance. Hundreds of vehicles had been pushed to the sides of the streets around the air field creating massive barricades around Kelly field leaving only a few streets with access to the base. Those had been closed off and were currently under siege by masses of the infected.

Behind the barrier, the airfield was a beehive of activity. Even from the distance they could see the main entrance was a canyon of abandoned cars parked end to end. A second level of cars had been added to the barrier only upside down creating a barrier that was twice as high and unmovable. At some point, concrete barriers had been brought in to line either side. It was a formidable effort, but it was failing.

The infected were massing on either side of the barrier. They moved between buildings to be drawn toward the sound of the helicopters and aircraft staging on the runways. Thousands of infected pushed against the barrier only held back by piles of bodies created by the constant barrage of gunfire from the men on several tripod guard posts around the field.

It was obvious this was a concentrated effort to evacuate the remaining survivors from the city. Access to the field was closed off and a collection of uniformed and civilian defenders were attempting to hold the line until the surviving people within the compound could be evacuated.

“We have to get in there now or we’re fucked.” Dale announced though the back window.

Ignoring the comment, Billy asked. “How are we going to get in there?”

“We’re not. No way to get to the field before it’s overrun.” Brian pointed to a distant tower as it fell when the stacked cars nearby toppled over. “Hold on! We need to get moving while the mob is focused on the airfield.”

They weaved through congested streets for thirty minutes then Brian stopped at a loading dock behind a strip mall. He backed up to an overhead door. Across the back was painted the name of a camping and hunting supply store.

Juan jumped from the bed of the truck with Leon close on his heels.

“Are we spending the night?” Leon asked.

“No. We’re getting in here to stock up. There’s no way to get out of the city now. Leon Creek goes south all the way to the Medina River. We’ll take it to get out of the city. ”

Brian stood at the front of truck with a rifle resting across his arm. Paula and Margo disappeared behind a small stand of bushes. Both returned with a look of relief on their faces. Back at the truck Juan started handing out water and packets of snacks.

Dale leaned against a barrier at the side of the building. He took a long draw on the bottle. “We can’t keep eating this shit. I need some real food.”

Everyone turned toward the sound of a distant boom. After a brief silence, there was another explosion, then another, and yet another. Each one followed by several smaller booms. White smoke and dust billowed up toward the gathering storm clouds overhead.

“You hear that? The city is lost.” Brian nodded. “We need to get out of the city. The military is taking out the last of the bridges. It’s too late, but they’re trying to quarantine the infected. No one else will be leaving the city, at least by the roadways. You saw the air field. It’ll be overrun within the next hour.”

“They’re trapping people in the city with those monsters.” Dale lamented.

“Hey, don’t shoot the messenger. I’m just telling you what I think. It was a matter of the greater good. They are trying to save the rest of the state.”

“Then there’s no way out.” Paula gasped. “We’re dead!”

“That’s why we’re here. We’re going to get rafts or canoes, whatever we can find and go down the creek until it runs into the Medina River.”

“It’s a fucking creek.” Dale protested.

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